Two people who have been gaining work experience at a Peterlee employment charity were given the best early Christmas present.

That’s because founder of The Employability Trust, Bill Marley, offered them both jobs during a live radio interview with BBC Tees’ Breakfast Show.

Carl Swindle and Sandra Long (Sandy)  had both struggled to find secure, long term employment when Bill took them under his wing and gave them the chance to gain valuable skills on placements at his Peterlee facility.

But now, having impressed Bill and the team with their attitude and commitment to working, which has included time spent in London delivering a contract with Specialized, both have been offered full time jobs with The Employability Trust.

Carl, 37, from  Wingate said: “What a fantastic early Christmas present this is for me and my family.

“I have tried to find secure employment in the past but for one reason or another I struggled, however I wanted to work, and Bill gave me the chance to gain experience and skills which have now paid off.

“I am over the moon.”

Sandy, 60, said: “The call from Bill has really made my Christmas. I really didn’t think I would find work but now, I’m looking ahead to 2019 knowing I have a job. I am so happy.”

Bill was being participating in the BBC Radio Tees breakfast show Christmas Party when he made the phone call to Carl and Sandy, who were both at the trust at the time. The news was met with joy and celebrations from both, who can now look forward to 2019 knowing they are employed.

Bill Marley said: “This is what the Employability Trust is all about – offering a lifeline to people who have otherwise struggled to find work, giving them the skills and experiences, that employers look for and then giving them the chance to gain secure, long term employment.

“I have been so impressed with Carl and Sandy during their time with us and to be able to offer them jobs with us, four days before Christmas, is fantastic.

“They both absolutely deserve it.”

The Employability Trust, which is based on the South West Industrial Estate in Peterlee, has helped hundreds of long-term unemployed people gain sustainable employment with a variety of companies throughout the North East, providing practical work experience and passing on the skills necessary to move into the world of work.